After years of eating vegan cheesesteaks in Philly and anywhere else I see them on the menu, it’s clear most people just call it a day after adding some sort of veggie meat to a long roll with some vegan cheese.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the time it’s a delicious sandwich well worth the money that I’ll rave about to friends. But it wasn’t close to a cheesesteak. Blackbird in Philly nails it. I’m sure other places around the world pull it off, but I haven’t had them. Usually it’s seitan chunks or crumbled up veggie meat, nothing resembling a proper cheesesteak. They’ll often have some sort of marinade or sauce which screws up the fact that cheesesteak meat is pretty damn dry without the cheese.
The same issue applies to recipes I find online. Lot’s of just “hey! just break up a veggie burger or use some tofu!”. Lauren Toyota gets it, I’ve got issues with the peppers, over flavored meat and nacho sauce for cheese. But the thinly sliced/shaved seitan with a mandolin is on point.
If you look up how to make your own non-vegan cheesesteak you’ll see it’s all about very thin slices of ribeye steak. It’s a meat consistency I haven’t seen many people pull off.
So that’s why I’ve been working on making a proper one myself.
I started experimenting with Beyond/Impossible(same results with each). Basically, I press them real thin between parchment paper then freeze that slab for 15-20 minutes, just to firm it up. Then I cool that whole slab like a Steak Umm. 3 minutes a side, sprinkled with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt(thanks to Thee Burger Dude for turning me on to that) on each side. Take it off, then slice it up. The salty seasoning is perfect, it’s dry enough. Not perfect but the closest I’ve been able to come up with.
Back to the sandwich, after it’s sliced, put it back in the pan (you probably already cooked up some onions), cover with 2 slices of Violife provolone. Cook it a bit longer to melt the cheese a bit but you don’t need it crazy melted for a cheesesteak. Then get it back into a nice long roll — cheese on the bottom.
This is a work in progress. Pictures to come.